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Qatari businessman involved in a terrible driving accident
Qatari businessman involved in a terrible driving accident

The 66-year-old victim died at the scene.

A Qatari businessman avoided time in prison despite admitting on Tuesday to killing a pedestrian in a London car crash.

Hassan Nasser Al Thani, 42, crashed Charles Roberts, 66, in August 2019 while driving a purple Rolls-Royce Wraith at a speed of more than 80 kilometers per hour.

Roberts, a retired railway signaling manager from Hertfordshire, was pronounced dead at the scene near Buckingham Palace.

Al-Thani pleaded guilty in Old Bailey Court on Tuesday, despite having denied the charges in previous hearings.

According to British media, he was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, and paid 25,000 pounds. He also received a three-year driving ban in the UK.

Under UK law, if an offender is sentenced to between 14 days and two years' imprisonment, or six months in magistrates' court, the judge may choose to suspend the sentence for up to two years.

Notably, the offender does not have to go to jail immediately but is given the opportunity to stay out of trouble and comply with up to 13 conditions set by the court.

This may include doing unpaid work, undergoing curfews or undergoing rehabilitation activities.

According to Judge Richard Marks, Al Thani was driving near the corner of Hyde Park with a friend when he lost control of the car as the traffic lights turned green.

He was reportedly driving at up to 54 mph (86 km/h) in a 30 mph zone - nearly twice the speed limit.

"I am fully satisfied with the evidence that if you had driven at or within the maximum speed limit, his death could have been avoided," Judge Marks said.

“You had to tell the police – obviously incorrectly – that you were slowly moving away from the spotlight when suddenly, without warning, someone ran in front of your car. The evidence tells a very different story,” the judge said.

"Shortly before the collision, you were driving at a speed of at least twice the legal limit and, in my estimation, is the seriousness of this offense."

According to the judge, the defendant saw Roberts "too late" and the obvious reason for the accident was that he "simply didn't pay attention."

Al Thani is the registered owner of a Rolls Royce with Qatari number plates, although the car has since been sold.

“When Mr. Roberts crossed that road, he was hit by Mr. Al Thani's car.

The public prosecutor also continued, "The police arrived at the scene very soon and diverted the traffic away, and a policeman approached Mr. Al Thani."

The cause of death of the victim was detailed as a head injury. McGee told the court that Roberts lost consciousness almost immediately after the accident.

When the accident occurred, the defendant called 999 and informed the police at the scene that he had not seen pedestrians after the traffic lights had turned green.

A British media report noted that "in a statement prepared for the police at the time, Al Thani expressed his grief over the victim's death and offered his condolences to the victim's family and friends."

A statement read on behalf of the Roberts family expressed the devastation of the victim's brother.

"It comforts him to hold the responsible driver accountable," the family said.